Black Mental Health Graduate Academy

Join Our Black Mental Health Graduate Academy

The United States is becoming more multiracial, multiethnic, and multilingual.

Although racial/ethnic minorities represent 30% of the population, approximately 90% of mental health professionals identify as non-Hispanic White (Annapolis Coalition, 2007).

In 2013, only 5.3% of psychologists were Black/African American (American Psychological Association, 2015) and today fewer than 5% of Black students are enrolled in graduate-level psychology programs (APA Center for Workforce Studies, 2010).

The paucity of mental health professionals from racial/ethnic minority backgrounds is a critical contributing factor to mental health disparities (Annapolis Coalition, 2007). A more racially/ethnically diverse mental health workforce is needed to increase competent and compassionate care for all people.

How We Make a Difference

William James College's Black Mental Health Graduate Academy is an academic pipeline program, which is designed to recruit, mentor, and support Black students in master's and doctoral degree programs for mental health counseling and psychology. Under the auspices of the Center for Multicultural and Global Mental Health (CMGMH), the Academy provides critical mentorship, career orientation, skill building, and professional enrichment to support academic excellence in graduate school. The Academy represents the College's commitment to decreasing racial/ethnic disparities by diversifying the mental health workforce and providing support to historically marginalized and underserved groups.

Olivia Fenty sitting on a bench in a garden“I'm really excited to be in a community with other Black scholars. Everyone has fascinating research interests, so I'm looking forward to talking about research in a way that pushes me to explore my identity further.”

Olivia Fenty
Black Mental Health Graduate Academy

Program Components

As a scholar, you will receive socio-emotional and professional mentorship from student mentors with histories of multicultural advocacy and activism. Scholars and mentors will maintain regular contact through phones, emails, and social activities; and receive advice regarding academic and professional advancement.

Scholars participate in academic and professional enrichment opportunities through the following activities:

A. Attend Master's and Doctoral Excellence Seminars to 1) develop professional-level writing and oral skills, study skills, interviewing skills, and leadership skills; and 2) explore common cultural challenges, application processes, and financial aid options.

B. Engage in a Service Learning Opportunity at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health's Office of Recovery and Empowerment

C. Provide career advice and professional role modeling to racial/ethnic minority Certified Peer Specialists interested in pursuing mental health careers.

We love connecting with our scholars and creating a collaborative and supportive learning environment. Scholars attend Professional Development Dinners. In addition, scholars are encouraged to seek public speaking opportunities on social justice and multicultural issues to promote confidence, professional skills, and growing expertise in a particular area of interest. Scholars are also invited to attend two free continuing education events/programs at William James College.

Note: An application form for Academy candidates will be available soon.

To learn more about the Black Mental Health Graduate Academy, please contact:

Natalie Cort, PhDNatalie Cort, PhD
Associate Professor, Clinical Psychology Department
Co-Director, Center for Multicultural and Global Mental Health
Director, Black Mental Health Graduate Academy


Scholarship Awardees

Every year, a number of students receive a scholarship for “Serving the Mental Health Needs of the Underserved.” This is a highly competitive scholarship at the college.

Read about CMGMH Fellows and Scholarship Awardees

CMGMH Newsletter

The Center for Multicultural and Global Mental Health produces a monthly newsletter. Read about our students, their work in the field, and upcoming events.

Click here for latest newsletter

Black Lives Matter

Statement from the Black Mental Health Graduate Academy

Read the statement

Question and Answer: “Black Health and Wellness”

Dr. Natalie Cort on Black Mental Health and the 2022 Theme for Black History Month.

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Exploring Stigma, Stressors and Resilience Experienced by Men of Color

The Black Mental Health Graduate Academy, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH), hosted a panel discussion exploring mental health stressors and stigma, along with the underappreciated resilience and strengths, experienced by men of color.

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Building a Center of Gravity in Multicultural Education

Dr. Natalie Cort presented If You Build It, They Will Come: Building a Center of Gravity in Multicultural Education Through Transformative and Inclusive Practices, at the University of Rochester Psychiatry Department Grand Rounds. 

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